Then: 1969, NYC
Jean pondered in his darkness of his father’s study, recalling the time he had become aware that Alexandra Steele was his genetic template. He felt nearly crushed by the sudden weight of emotions that bore down upon him. There were so many thoughts that had swirled about his golden head. Clone? There was another version of him? Or another version of her rather. He was a copy? No wonder the self-absorbed teenager had been so infatuated with this vampiric vixen. There was excitement, a feeling as though he had been only half alive before that moment. He met her and now was complete. He was whole. And yet... there was a sorrow. He wasn't an original. He was a shadow of this original beauty, this persona of prestige and power. He was a spoiled boy who had taken everything for granted, even his own construction. Now he felt compelled to live up to the self-made grandeur and undying ambition of his clone. He had perceived her as the pinnacle of perfection. He WAS her. But suddenly, he never felt more imperfect. How could he ever measure up to a goddess? Alexandra was amazing. He had shown him how to better use his own psionic abilities. They had developed a nigh unbreakable telepathic rapport that unified them as nearly a single entity.
His mood soured as he descended into a sulk. But she was too good. Now she was dating his best friend. Two beautiful people, it was only natural they would fall in together. The young Quentin couldn't help but feel jealous. He had been close to Victor for years, and if he was completely honest, he was Jean's ideal man. His best friend and his clone, sequestered away from him, enthralled with each other. And he was alone. If only. Strong emotions would occasionally force the psychic connection between Jean and Xandra, giving him a window into her mind. He was never alone, just avoided. His lips curled into a fanged snarl. He was entitled to more than this.
The lights shown from the disco ball at the centre of the dance floor, hazed in a cloud of smoke. Crowds of brightly dressed bodies thrashed together. The brilliant colours were aggregated by the dancers tripping on LSD, the rest were intoxicated on lies about "free love." Jean's blue eyes twinkled with iridescent radiance in the spectrum of luminescence that showered around him. Those azure eyes scanned the mass of mortals like a predator stalking unaware prey. He sipped gingerly at his gin, slouching against the counter. There were people from the university there, wasting away their weekend with sex and drugs and students were oft to do throughout the generations. Others, strangers were among the throng as well, civilians hoping to capitalize on the liberalized, idealistic youths. Clubs were always hunting grounds of one sort or another. Vampires were still an unexpected danger. That was his advantage as Jean hid in plain sight waiting for the right person to single out from the herd.
It was then he saw her, an unseemly brunette with a girl-next-door appeal desperately trying to glean off her girl friends' social aptitude to get lucky with one in the group of horny lads. She floundered desperately with forced laughter as her charms were dwarfed by the glamorous femmes around her. Pathetic. Perfect. The edge of his mouth curled up slightly as he stood to his feet, thoughts running about his mind about how good her death would taste and how little she would be missed within her vapid circle.
But then she saw him too. The world seemed to slow as she felt the gaze of the psionic socialite. A coldness gripped her, and Jean could see the colour drain from her face. Her almond eyes widened, lips parting with a tremble. The vampire's brow furrowed. It was like she was looking through him, could see his every sinister intent. They stared at each other across the room for what felt like forever, the strange tension growing ever denser. She knew him. Somehow. This made her dangerous. She was more than a mere feed now. She was a threat. She could sense the danger.
The girl bolted off without a word to her companions. Her legs carried her like a gazelle eluding a lion from the pomp of the club into the cool darkness of the night. Breaking out from a side door she panted, putting her heels from her soles before running onward, the soft sound of padded footfalls carrying her across the dingy asphalt. She stopped in an alleyway to catch her breath, bracing her petite frame against a brick wall. A hand clutched her palpitating heart. She was uncertain what she felt in that place, but it was evil. It was hungry.
And it was not so easily escaped. The agile form of the hunter alighted before her, eyes gleaming red, fangs protruding. He swooped in to grab her as she felt herself grow faint with fear. His hot breath caressing her exposed throat, a tear ran from her eye as she whimpered. "Please... d-don't." Her cries for help ultimately in vain, her struggles useless against the superior predator, his sharp teeth penetrated her tender flesh. Saliva mingled with the warm, crimson flow pulsing through his lips. Jean's lids lowered as he savoured the metallic taste, the sanguinary life essence more potent to him than any alcohol. Her body fell limp as her very soul was absorbed into him, sustaining his immortal coil.
But then it happened. She released the monster's greatest enemy. It felt like a tsunami of sensation hit him all at once. He experienced all her emotions. His body quivered with fear, a terror of death and inevitability he had never had before. Vulnerability, fragility, it shook him to the core, froze him to the bone. There was even a reflection of how she had seen him, the heartless, selfish villain bent on slaughtering her like a sacrificial lamb. She was so meek, nearly pure. So much potential had been ripped from her young being. As her life slipped away, he felt the passing, the cold emptiness of a spirit departing a lifeless corpse. There was a void, a vacancy that ached like nothing ever felt before. "What have I done?" His chest heaved with a sob as he pulled her in sorrowfully. Her face was eternally imprinted with the anguish of her death, and even so, it was branded upon his mind, what he felt never leaving his battered psyche. This empathic Messiah had given her life to redeem a sinner. He would never be the same again. He couldn't.
Now: 2015, NYC
The PsyKnight stood before the illuminated screen, each state lighting up blue or red as the votes for each were tallied. Cheers were heard throughout the campaign headquarters at each victory. Jean himself tried to contain his own emotions, a finger resting thoughtfully upon his chin, heart a flutter with excitement and nervousness. He was not one to count his eggs before they hatched. Alexander Donn was a formidable opponent, a worthy contender, and the race was close. But he had hope. His hand trembled with a weak smile, quiet amongst the rambunctious joviality.
Then the final call: "The next president of the United States of America is... Jean Quentin!"
The room erupted into triumphant exclamations and thunderous applause. His hands fell too his side, his sky blue eyes wide with astonishment. He had done it. He had become president, the most esteemed office of the land. Everyone clapped him on the back, hearty handshakes exchanged along with brilliant grins and warm hugs all around. Not far was his likeness, Dr. Steele. She rested a manicured hand upon his shoulder, drawing him in for an embrace. No word needed to be spoken between the two as their shared experience made it nearly redundant. But there was something different in Jean as he gazed into the familiar azure eyes. There was also the suspicion that Xandra would try to use this to her advantage. There was also a pride. He had become something more than her. He would not let her corrupt this office. Nor his father. Though he was in the prime position to be their political puppet, the White Knight knew their game. His own power was often taken for granted amongst his family. This was his day.
Reporters bustled in through opened doors, eager to capture the response of the president after his election. Jean straightened his suit before ascending to the podium to address his crowd of supporters and the media. His sky blue eyes raised, glimmering with an opalescent brilliance in the flashing lights. His lips spread into that charming grin, unmarred by the effects of his aged experience. The doctor cleared his throat.
"I would like this day to be marked not as the day of my own political victory but as a moment of triumph for those who believe in a unified America, a world community that thrives by the combined efforts of each of its citizens. It is my intention as president to be a facilitator in the joining of hands and hearts of the people to achieve something greater than I as one man can accomplish. Even as I was elected by the votes of many, so must the people be responsible for the progress and direction of his great nation. This presidency will be marked by partnership and teamwork, a reflection of the world better for everyone, unified, accepting, and strong. There will be adversity, there will be setbacks, but I believe together, we the American people can overcome any obstacle to become a beacon of hope, bringing light to a darkening world. I thank everyone who helped to make this campaign a success, and I thank you the voters for trusting me with this auspicious office. I promise to do my part to be open to your concerns and bring the change you wish to see to this country. Thank you for this honour to serve. May America prosper."